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  #1  
Old 12-05-2007
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Question Float Switch addition

My 1984 S2 8.6 has a sump-pump that is activated by power panel switch, but does NOT have a float switch in the bilge. I believe the pump is the original. My question is, "Is there something I should know that precludes adding a float switch?" I would have thought that the original owners would have added this item.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 12-05-2007
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mike..assuming it is a standard pump, you should be able to add the float switch without any problems...and a necessary addition it is. The only risk is that if the switch comes on and jams you could drain your batteries and/or burn out the pump. Better than the risk of sinking!
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Old 12-05-2007
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If you haven't bought it yet, get a switch that doesn't involve its wires being in the bilge water. A little diesel fuel on top and the the wires rot and the water gets into the switch, corroding it from within. Plus it adds a nice bit of leakage current to eat your anodes. I had two go, one after the other, so I got the air pressure type switch.
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Old 12-05-2007
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My boat didn't have an automatic switch either. So while it was on the hard I emailed and asked the yard to do it. I even had the new 3-way panel switch, the floater, and appropriate length of cable on the salon table for them. When I got to the boat they had installed and completely new 2nd bilge pump, plus a new through-hull aft and charged me over $500 for the job. To add insult to injury, the new switch/pump (a RULE 750, I think) is so far down the bilge that the backflow after the pump turns off is enough to turn the durned thing back on, so when set to auto it will never stop running!
I'm sure there are a couple of lessons in there...
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Old 12-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
The only risk is that if the switch comes on and jams you could drain your batteries and/or burn out the pump. Better than the risk of sinking!
Thats why I went with a solid state switch, just in case. Its called the UltimaSwitch by Johnson pumps. Cant post the link as I dont have 10 posts yet.
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Old 12-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
..... I emailed and asked the yard to do it.........When I got to the boat they had installed and completely new 2nd bilge pump.....$500 for the job. .....I'm sure there are a couple of lessons in there...

No, really just one lesson!

%&*$$(&^%% BOATYARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maboyer View Post
My 1984 S2 8.6 has a sump-pump that is activated by power panel switch, but does NOT have a float switch in the bilge. I believe the pump is the original. My question is, "Is there something I should know that precludes adding a float switch?" I would have thought that the original owners would have added this item.

Thanks,
Mike
Many boats that were concieved more as racing hulls than cruisers don't have enough of a bilge sump to accomodate a typical float switch. I've seen such switches installed, but they would only work if the floors were up. I suppose they'd work eventually once the floors floated off.

We had a similar problem in our last boat, limited clearance for a float switch.

There are conductivity based switches now that look attractive, with the added bonus that, since diesel & gas are non conductive, would stop pumping if fuel got into your bilge.
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